Jardin des Tuileries ☆☆

A tree-lined path in Jardin des Tuileries (Photo by Gala Medina)
A tree-lined path in Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries are the largest and oldest public gardens in Paris

These meticulously planned gravel pathways, statue-lined promenades, perfectly placed fountains, regimentally planted gardens (each of the 125,000 plants placed by hand each year), and astoundingly awful crêpe stands extends right through the heart of Paris, along the banks of the Seine from the Louvre to place de la Concorde.

The 63 acres of the Tuileries Gardens were redesigned in the 17th century by France's premiere landscape architect Le Nôtre and are scattered with sculptures by the likes of Rodin, Giacometti, Max Ernst, and André Mairaux. They was opened to the public in 1667.

From June through August, the park hosts an old-school Fun Fair called the Fête des Tuileries with rides, games, and deliciously-bad-for-you food.

Vive la Revolution!

They may look pretty, but the Tuileries played an important, bloody role in the French Revolution. On August 10, 1792, an army of more than 20,000 revolutionary commoners (and many National Guard who decided to switch sides) marched on the Tuileries Palace, the official royal residence that used to close the west end of the park.

The rebels were briefly held at bay by the king's private army of Swiss Guards while Louis XVI fled, but soon thereafter they took the palace—whereupon they rioted and massacred more than 600 of the defending Swiss Guards.

Three days after the fighting, Louis XVI was arrested.

Within six weeks, the Legislative Assembly was dissolved, the French monarchy was abolished, and the revolution was won.

(So what happened to the Tuileries Palace? To shamefully glaze over the insanely complicated politics of post-Revolutiuonary 19C France, the Tuileries Palace later served Napoléon as his imperial residence, and then the restoration Bourbon monarchs, before being burned down by the National Guard of the radial Socialist Paris Commune, which briefly ruled Paris during the spring of 1871.)

Photo gallery
  • A tree-lined path in Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Gala Medina)
  • The Grand basin ronde in the Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Javier B)
  • The Jardin des Tuileries and a bit of the Louvre, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by  ctj71081)
  • The plan of the Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Paris 16)
  • An aerial view of the Jardin des Tuileries (right) and the Louvre (left), Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Matthias Kabel)
  • Relaxing in the Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Kimberly Vardeman)
  • Given its central location, the Jardin des Tuileries can get quite crowded—especially on the Grande Allée, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Guillaume Speurt)
  • The Grand basin ronde in the Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Stéphane LACROUX)
  • A ride in the Fun Fair in the Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Stefano Corso)
  • Playing in a fountain in Jardin des Tuileries by the Pavillon de Marsan of the Louvre, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Julian Fong)
  • A tree-lined path in Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo Guilhem Vellut)
  • The frankly barren bit of the Jardin des Tuileries between the Octagonal basin and the Louvre, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by Felix & Tibo)
  • A tree-lined path in Jardin des Tuileries, Les Tuileries, Paris (Photo by John Reynolds)


How long should I spend in the Tuileries?

It takes about 20 minutes to stroll the gardens from the Louvre to place de la Concorde. But this is a park, so you should spend just as long as you'd like.

Safety in the Tuileries

Lovely and lively by day, the Tuileries can get a bit dicey after dusk, and it's best to avoid them at night (unless you're looking for a gay pick-up). 

Useful French phrases

Useful French for sightseeing

English (anglais) French (français) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is?... Où est? ou eh
...the museum le musee luh moo-ZAY
...the church l'eglise leh-GLEEZ
...the cathedral le cathédrale luh ka-teh-DRAHL
When is it open? Quand est-il ouvert?  coan eh-TEEL oo-VAIR
When does it close? A quelle heure est-ce que cela ferme? ah kell eur es kuh suhla fair-MAY
ticket billet d'entrée bee-YAY dahn-TRAY
two adults deux adultes dooz ah-DOOLT
one child un enfant ehn ahn-FAHN
one student un étudiant uh-NETOO-dee-YON

Basic phrases in French

English (anglais) French (français) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you merci mair-SEE
please s'il vous plaît seel-vou-PLAY
yes oui wee
no non no
Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais? par-lay-VOU on-GLAY
I don't understand Je ne comprende pas zhuh nuh COHM-prohnd pah
I'm sorry Je suis desolée zhuh swee day-zoh-LAY
How much does it cost? Combien coute? coam-bee-YEHN koot
That's too much C'est trop say troh
Good day Bonjour bohn-SZOURH
Good evening Bon soir bohn SWAH
Good night Bon nuit  bohn NWEE
Goodbye Au revoir oh-ruh-VWAH
Excuse me (to get attention) Excusez-moi eh-skooze-ay-MWA
Excuse me (to get past someone) Pardon pah-rRDOHN
Where is? Où est? ou eh
...the bathroom la toilette lah twah-LET
...train station la gare lah gahr

Days, months, and other calendar items in French

English (anglais) French (français) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quand est-il ouvert? coan eh-TEEL oo-VAIR
When does it close? Quand est l'heure de fermeture?   coan eh lure duh fair-mah-TOUR
At what time... à quelle heure... ah kell uhre
Yesterday hier ee-AIR
Today aujoud'hui ow-zhuhr-DWEE
Tomorrow demain duh-MEHN
Day after tomorrow après demain ah-PRAY duh-MEHN
a day un jour ooun zhuhr
Monday Lundí luhn-DEE
Tuesday Maredí mar-DEE
Wednesday Mercredi mair-cray-DEE
Thursday Jeudi zhuh-DEE
Friday Vendredi vawn-druh-DEE
Saturday Samedi saam-DEE
Sunday Dimanche DEE-maansh
a month un mois ooun mwa
January janvier zhan-vee-YAIR
February février feh-vree-YAIR
March mars mahr
April avril ah-VREEL
May mai may
June juin zhuh-WAH
July juillet zhuh-LYAY
August août ah-WOOT
September septembre sep-TUHM-bruh
October octobre ok-TOE-bruh
November novembre noh-VAUM-bruh
December décembre day-SAHM-bruh

Numbers in French

English (anglais) French (français) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 un ehn
2 deux douh
3 trois twa
4 quatre KAH-truh
5 cinq sank
6 six sees
7 sept sehp
8 huit hwhee
9 neuf nuhf
10 dix dees
11 onze ownz
12 douze dooz
13 treize trehz
14 quatorze kah-TOHRZ
15 quinze cans
16 seize sez
17 dix-sept dee-SEP
18 dix-huit dee-SWEE
19 dix-neuf dee-SNEUHF
20 vingt vahn
21* vingt et un * vahnt eh UHN
22* vingt deux * vahn douh
23* vingt trois * vahn twa
30 trente truhnt
40 quarante kah-RAHNT
50 cinquante sahn-KAHNT
60 soixante swaa-SAHNT
70 soixante-dix swa-sahnt-DEES
80 quatre-vents  kat-tra-VAHN
90 quatre-vents-dix  kat-tra-vanht-DEES
100 cent sant
1,000 mille meel
5,000 cinq mille sank meel
10,000 dix mille dees meel

* You can form any number between 20 and 99 just like the examples for 21, 22, and 23. For x2–x9, just say the tens-place number (trente for 30, quarante for 40, etc.), then the ones-place number (35 is trente cinq; 66 is soixsante six). The only excpetion is for 21, 31, 41, etc. For x1, say the tens-place number followed by "...et un" (trente et un, quarante et un, etc.).

‡ Yes, the French count very strangely once they get past 69. Rather than some version of "seventy,' they instead say "sixy-ten" (followed by "sixty-eleven," "sixty-twelve,' etc. up to "sixty-nineteen.") And then, just to keep things interesting, they chenge it up again and, for 80, say 'four twenties"—which always make me thinks of blackbirds baked in a pie for some reason. Ninety becomes "four-twenties-ten" and so on up to "four-nineties-ninteen" for 99, which is quite a mouthful: quartre-vingts-dix-neuf.